I include this video because in a couple of places she appears to be wearing something a tad snake skinny...
Skip this next bit if you are in a hurry...my stories usually get a bit long-winded...
A while back a very dear friend and I, during a work trip to Sydney, attended a play at the Marion Street Theatre in Killara one evening in which Cameron Daddo was acting.
This was many years ago you understand, neither Bev nor I, both Tasmanian, knew Sydney at all well and we had to rely on taxis almost exclusively to get from our hotel to scheduled meetings and appointments during our bi-annual trips as State representatives to a National Aged Care organisation.
On the night in question we had really enjoyed the play in this dear little theatre but had not given a moment's thought to how we were to get back into the city, quite wrongly assuming that a taxi would materialise at our convenience as they appeared to do everywhere else in the city at any time of the day or night.
Having since that time lived in Sydney for a few years, I now know that we were actually only a stones throw from the Killara train station, but back then we had no idea and had to wait in the dark suburban street for nearly two hours before we could get a taxi to come and pick us up. This was before mobile phones and we had little suitable change for the public telephone we found nearby, so we were getting anxious.
Finally a chap in a very beaten up station wagon arrived, indicated rather gruffly that he was indeed a taxi, (there were no markings), who else did we think he would be at that time of night and did we know how much he was putting himself out dragging himself into the sticks like this...and other kindly comments of a similar nature. By this time it was well past midnight and so we were just very glad to pile in and give him directions.
At some stage during the drive we became aware of an occasional rustling sound behind us in the back of the wagon, and on covert inspection we noticed a pile of hessian covering all the back section of the vehicle. This was occasionally heaving and moving about gently and had quite an unusual odour.
By this time we were both beginning to think uneasily of criminal activities, stories we had read in the papers and warnings we had received from friends and family regarding horrors and dark deeds, all the likely things to befall young innocents abroad.
We also realised that we did not have a clue exactly where he was taking us...but then we came to the harbour bridge and felt relieved that we were on track for the city and our hotel, we hoped.
Just then a particularly violent surging of the sacks in the back made Bev sit forward and ask him what was in the back of the vehicle. "Oh, that's just Bill", he said, "my boa, he is a beauty, he likes to come out with me when I'm working nights!" We both sat forward after that, clutching the seats in front for safety, all our previous anxiety returned and doubled!
The traffic was very heavy around the approaches to King's Cross as it is on most nights even now when the roads have been altered considerably and we were simply crawling along so very slowly that as soon as we saw some buildings we recognised as being near our destination, we asked him to pull over to let us out, threw him his fare, told him to keep the change and got out just as fast as our trembling legs and the saggy old seats would let us.
We laughed most of the way back to the hotel, from sheer relief I think, had ourselves a large steadying cocktail and went to bed...another story to take home from the big bad city!
I still sometimes wonder about that chap and his snake...and how successful his taxi driving career had been....
I also have this image of myself aged about eight wrapped in a large snake, taken by mum while visiting the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on the Brisbane River in Queensland...this must be around 1960...I am not sure what type of snake it was but I imagine it to be a local Australian python...
I do remember clearly just how deliciously smooth and cool the animal felt when stroked.
I was very tempted, before I thought too much about it, to draw and colour a boa constrictor. They are after all among the most beautifully coloured snakes...
I searched online for some images to consider and came across a Dominican Red Mountain boa which is often very vibrantly coloured. Amongst those images I found a close-up of the scales of the snake and thought that would solve my issues regarding how to depict size and pattern of such a large reptile in such a tiny image...so once again I have opted out and gone the easy route...
I edged the square when dry with gold acrylic paint and coated the surface with Glossy Accents and left it to dry over night. This morning I mounted it onto the 1.5 inch piece of green mount board, added the name and date and the job is done.
Bye for now,